Home » Jet Provost T4, LCU Lingayen Gulf, Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

Jet Provost T4, LCU Lingayen Gulf, Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

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Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars, motorcycles, and campers, and then telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. I’m always looking for the next deal, but most of the time, I’m left empty-handed. At the same time, I love building a list of cars, trucks, and motorcycles that I would buy if I had the money.

Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness turns the long list of vehicles I’d love to buy into something for you all to enjoy. Some of them are cheap and some of them are not. Some of the vehicles I find are purely window shopping for everyone other than a collector like Beau or Myron.

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I was going to return to my normal finds. However, it seems so many of you love crazy stuff. You know what? Let’s have another week of fun. I often save listings for vehicles I could never afford, nor even have a realistic chance of even owning. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. There’s no price ceiling this time and most of these picks are just for fun.

Here we go, the captain is turning on the seatbelt sign!

1958 Edsel Pacer – $10,500

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Facebook Seller

Edsel was created as part of Ford’s initiative to spread its brands across a wide range of target customers. At the time, Lincoln competed with the likes of Buick, DeSoto, and Oldsmobile. Ford thought Lincoln could be more and that the Continental could be a luxury halo car. However, with Lincoln climbing into high-end luxury, Ford was left with a hole in its intermediate space. Edsel would go up to battle Buick, DeSoto, and Oldsmobile. The automaker would also stand out with bold styling.

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Sadly, the Edsel experiment turned out to be a failure. The brand launched in 1956 and had model years spanning from 1958 to 1960. Just 118,287 Edsels were ever built. Theories about the cause of the failure of Edsel have ranged from blaming the brand’s styling to reliability and even the economic climate at the time. We’re not here for that, let’s just take a look at the Pacer, the car that was positioned above the Ranger in the Edsel line. Features included contoured seats, nylon upholstery, extra stainless steel trim, color-matched floor mats, and more.

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Facebook Seller

For $2,700 ($28,987) for a four-door sedan, buyers got a 361 cubic inch V8 rated for 303 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque. Remember, this was the era of gross horsepower. That delivers power to the rear wheels through an automatic Teletouch transmission. The Pacer was sold for just a single year, making it a rare car within a brand of rare cars.

The seller of this Pacer says it’s not perfect. The carpet, which is included, needs to be installed. You also get a new headliner but it also needs to be installed. Other noted imperfections include a window that doesn’t roll down and a trunk lid that doesn’t hold itself up. Otherwise, the car is said to have 50,000 miles. The powertrain and brakes are also said to have seen recent refreshing. It’s $10,500 from the seller in Haslet, Texas.

1970 Vignale Gamine – Inquire

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Automobilia Franco Lembo

The happy little roadster on your screen is actually a Fiat 500 underneath. As obscure car history site Below The Radar writes, this two-seat, rear-engine car was constructed by Italian coachbuilder Vignale. Founded in 1948 by Alfredo Vignale, the coachbuilder’s early specialty was fitting new bodies to the Fiat Topolino. Later, Vignale would move to make bodies for Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Lancias, and other Italian vehicles. The Gamine was only one of a number of Fiat-based Vignale builds.

Production of the Gamine began in 1967. Power came from the donor Fiat’s engine, which was 499.5cc twin rated for 21.2 HP. Top speed was about 60 mph. Vignale never sold many of these and it’s estimated that around 2,000 were built. Reportedly, Vignale sold his business to De Tomaso in 1969, then died a day after the signing in a car crash.

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This particular Gamine is said to have gone through a concours-level restoration. Inquire about its price from Automobilia Franco Lembo in France.

2010 Suzuki Kizashi – $5,500

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Facebook Seller

If you’re looking for a hidden sedan gem, the forgotten Suzuki Kizashi might be worthy of consideration. At first, the Kizashi started as a series of concepts that Suzuki says were supposed to reflect a “dynamic athlete in motion,” whatever that means. Really, you just need to cut through the marketing jargon to know that the Kizashi was designed to be a sporty, capable flagship sedan. It was even tested on the Nurburgring. Considering Suzuki spent the 2000s slapping its badges on Daewoo and Nissan products, it was a breath of fresh air.

The Kizashi also launched at just the wrong time. We got the sedan here in America in 2009 for the 2010 model year, right when the nation was attempting to crawl its way out of the Great Recession. The Kizashi, along with the SX4, seemed to be compelling products that earned praise, but the public just didn’t line up to buy them. Just 20,319 units were sold before Suzuki decided to pull the plug on the Kizashi and its sales in the United States as a whole.

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Facebook Seller

Back in 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported that the problem was with the fact that as other automakers pulled out of the Great Recession, Suzuki’s sales stayed limp.

So, these little cars are orphans, but they’re really neat. Take this Kizashi I found. Sadly, it does not have an AWD system, but it does have a six-speed manual transmission, which appears to be somewhat rare. Power comes from a 2.4-liter four rated for 185 HP. Think of it as Suzuki’s version of a Volkswagen Jetta, with power not too far off from a GLI. It’s $5,500 from the dealership in Spring, Texas with 80,000 miles. Based on the photos, the car could use a good interior cleaning.

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1964 Jet Provost T4 – $65,000

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Facebook Seller

Maybe, like me, you sometimes like to dabble in flying a plane. For just a little more than the base price of a Tesla Cybertruck, and an applicable pilot license, you can say that you fly a jet.

BAE Systems tells the story of the Jet Provost:

Used for ‘ab initio’ jet training for the RAF and saw success on the export market. The Hunting Percival Jet Provost was initially developed as a jet engine modification of the piston-engine Percival P.56 Provost, retaining to original wing structure mated to a new fuselage. It was built as a private venture by Hunting Percival Aircraft Limited at Luton Airport.

The P.84 Jet Provost prototype (XD674) first flew at Luton on 26th June 1954, with Dick Wheldon at the controls. The aircraft was developed in liaison with the RAF Flying Training Command to ensure that it incorporated many of their desired characteristics required, such as easy instructional processes and a low cost of maintenance.

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Facebook Seller

Given the aircraft’s role as a trainer, speed was sacrificed for good handling characteristics, including easier recoveries from stalls and spins. Thanks to the Jet Provost’s relatively simple design and high durability, many have ended up in private hands after military service.

This Jet Provost, serial XS219, was assembled by the British Aircraft Corporation and it’s a T4 model, which features a more powerful engine. You’re getting a single Armstrong Siddeley Viper 202 rated for 2,500 pounds of thrust. The seller says it’s been 1,300 hours since the jet’s last overhaul, there’s 6,450 hours of total time, and that it consumes about 130 gallons of fuel per hour. The seller also says this aircraft is one of a handful to serve the RAF’s No.1 Tactical Weapons Unit. So, the initial purchase is only the start!

It’s $65,000 from the seller in Stigler, Oklahoma.

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1936 Ford Panel Delivery – $39,000

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Hemmings Seller

As Mac’s Motor City Garage explains, delivery vehicles are nearly as old as the car itself. It’s hard to say who made the first panel truck, but the 1904 Oldsmobile Light Delivery Wagon is a great example of how businesses and individuals delivered and received goods over a century ago. Various companies built their own panel trucks in the 1900s and 1910s to meet the demands of farmers, businesses, and eventually, the military. Chevrolet launched an early sedan delivery, a delivery truck based on a car, in 1928. Ford was also making a sedan delivery and larger panel delivery vans based on the Model A the same year. Back in those days, Ford built the chassis and a coachbuilder assembled the box.

Fast-forward to 1936 and brochures show that panel trucks have become their own small line of vehicles among a larger set of Ford commercial vehicles. The brochures would suggest that V8 engines were a big deal in commercial vehicles back then. Ford offered the small Sedan Delivery, the large Panel Truck, and the middle Panel Delivery. This truck would be a member of the latter.

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Hemmings Seller

According to the seller, this 1936 Ford Panel Delivery was purchased in 1942. That family then took good care of the truck, allowing it to reach the modern day with its reportedly original paint. The seller picked up the truck at some unknown date in the past. Power comes from a 221 cubic inch Flathead V8 rated at 85 HP. This engine is said to have been rebuilt 3,000 miles ago. It’s connected to a Mitchell Overdrive transmission, which is a three-speed with an overdrive for each gear. Mitchell Overdrive says this nets you six forward speeds if you want them.

In addition to new brakes, you also get spare parts, an extra transmission, a new soft top, and more. It’s $39,000 from the seller in San Rafael, California.

1990 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix by ASC/McLaren – $3,500

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Fairmont Sports and Classics

You may not be able to afford a new McLaren supercar, but you might be able to afford this weird collaboration.

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For 1989 and 1990, Pontiac’s Grand Prix was available in a hot version perhaps worthy of being called a Grail. To achieve a hot Grand Prix, Pontiac got in bed with the American Sunroof Company. You may wonder what the heck a sunroof company has anything to do with a coupe, but there’s a reason behind it. American Sunroof Company started as a humble company that created convertibles when automakers didn’t, but it had bigger aspirations. Bruce McLaren, who set up an engineering shop in Michigan, joined forces with ASC, creating ASC/McLaren mashups. The most famous of which is probably the Buick GNX.

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Fairmont Sports and Classics

The top engine for a Grand Prix at the time was a 3.1-liter V6 good for 130 HP. ASC/McLaren wasn’t impressed and decided to fit a 3.1-liter V6 featuring a turbo and an intercooler. Output jumped to 205 HP and 225 lb-ft of torque, a healthy bump. The modifications continued with functional hood vents and a new exhaust plus a widebody kit and wider tires. Inside, there are some incredible 10-way power-adjustable bucket seats. It’s believed that less than 3,500 of these are out there, so they are sometimes hard to find. Sadly, an automatic transmission handles the power and sends it to the front wheels.

I had a listing from the United States saved, then it sold a few days ago. So, here’s my backup listing, which comes from the UK. Yeah, someone really imported one of these out there! Fairmont Sports and Classics has a clean example with a low 49,000 miles. You can bring it back home for $15,916 (£12,500) plus importation fees.

1954 LCU Lingayen Gulf (LCU-1528) – $475,000

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Facebook Seller

If you haven’t noticed, lately I’ve been fascinated with old military and government hardware that has fallen into private hands. Last time, it was a former United States Coast Guard Cutter. Now, we have a former U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility vessel. Have you ever wanted a sweet place to park and transport your rides? Well, here you go. The Lingayen Gulf was built to carry 150 short tons of cargo or 300 of your friends!

Here’s some history from the U.S. Navy:

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Landing craft are capable of transporting cargo, tracked and/or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to suitable beachheads or piers. LCMs have a bow ramp for onload/offload. LCUs have both bow and stern ramps for onload/offload and have the ability to operate independently at sea for up to 10 days. A temporary causeway can be created by several LCUs connected bow to stern to support roll-through offload to the shore. LCUs are heavy lift craft and have over twice the payload and six times the range of air cushion type landing craft.

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Facebook Seller

The use of landing craft in amphibious assault dates from World War II. The craft are carried aboard amphibious assault ships to the objective area. Landing craft are used across the range of military operations to deliver vehicles, personnel and cargo from the sea to the shore and from shore to shore. LCUs are also used to support Building Partnership missions, to provide dive team or small boat support, to assist in port clearing, to conduct limited surveillance and to support many other missions enabled by their intratheater range and independent operations capability.

Lingayen Gulf was launched in 1954 as an LCT-1466 Landing Craft Tank before a reclassification to LCU-1466 Landing Craft Utility. The vessel served with the 481st Transportation Company and was retired in June 1991. She’s a self-sustaining craft with the capacity to support a crew of 13.

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Facebook Seller

John Sweeney has owned Lingayen Gulf since 2011 and has used it to haul large equipment around the Sacramento River Delta in California. Sweeney provides more information:

As per most Navy or Army ships her engines and equipment was stripped and she was added to the Moth Ball Fleet. She was then purchased by Phil Joy of Benicia and used as a barge for house moving and equipment hauling. In late 2011 John Sweeney purchased her and began a restoration which included rebuilt engines – (2) Detroit 6V-71s and (1) Detroit 6V-92 in the center. She got three new generators (20kw, 40kw and 75kw) and a welder. Two 40 foot spuds and wells were fabricated and two 20 ton winches added. Her original gate and motor were rehabbed and a completely new pilot house and controls added. She was completely repainted and camouflaged to give her a new updated look. She’s 118′ Feet by 34′ wide and draws 5 feet loaded with 250 tons of equipment. She can cruise at 8 knots with a max of 12 knots. Since she spent a lot of time in fresh water her hull was in amazing shape.

What should you do with this beast of a vessel? I’m not sure, but I’d park a bunch of cars on it. I’m also not sure if the asking price of $475,000 is even reasonable, but it’s so cool that I had to include it. If you can scramble enough friends for a group buy, contact Sweeney on Facebook and get ready to set sail from Suisun City, California.

1986 Pulse Autocycle – $28,998

1986 Pulse Litestar
Volocars

Ships and planes aren’t for you? What about a plane for the road?

The Litestar/Pulse autocycle comes from the saga of Jim Bede, the designer of famed and infamous kit aircraft. These autocycles are pretty much planes for the road. From my retrospective:

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Bede took the BD-200 around to shows, searching for investors. In 1981, Stan Leitner read about the BD-200 in a newspaper and decided to reach out to Bede. In April of that year, the pair created the Tomorrow Corporation with Leitner providing $25,000 in exchange for manufacturing and distribution rights. Tomorrow Corporation sold more autocycle plans before striking a deal with Scranton Manufacturing in Iowa to produce a factory-built version called the Litestar.

Production numbers are inexact, but Pulse enthusiasts believe that a total of about 15 Litestars were built by Scranton before production moved to the Owosso Motor Car Company in Michigan. Owosso is believed to have produced an additional 347 units. It’s said that the name was changed to Pulse after the first 21 units were produced.

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Volocars

This Pulse autocycle is said to be #173 and it was constructed by the Owosso Motor Car Company in Michigan. Power comes from a Honda Goldwing GL1100 flat-four. It should be making about 81 HP and that engine drives the rear wheel. Pulse autocycles have four wheels, but only three are touching the ground at any given time, allowing them to be classified as motorcycles, not cars. Assuming that Honda engine is healthy, you’re looking at 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph.

The Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois is selling this example for $28,998. I’ve seen it in person and it’s just as clean in real life as it is in pictures.

1983 Ford F-350 – $42,000

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Hemmings Seller

The truck you see on your screen here looks like it was built to look like a big rig, but it’s way more than that. Its owner went through the work to make it as close to a semi-truck as possible. This F-350 comes from the seventh generation of the F-Series, which ran from 1980 to 1986 in North America. In this generation, Ford focused on some efficiency gains while improving the truck’s interior.

According to the magazine clipping included in the listing, Charles A. Chaplinski bought the truck but wanted something a bit different than what everyone else had. He then spent $20,000 on some serious mods. The rear axles are powered, just like a real semi. The tag axle also uses air to drop down, helping the truck carry heavier loads.

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Hemmings Seller

Chaplinski added air ride, a Garrett turbocharger to the 6.9-liter International Harvester diesel V8, and a Borg-Warner T-19 four-speed manual. There’s also a three-speed auxiliary transmission, offering a 23 percent overdrive and effectively 12 gears. Finally, the build is capped off with exhaust stacks and a sleeper box.

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Chaplinski used the truck to tow a custom lowboy trailer for his contracting and custom equipment manufacturing business. Apparently, the truck and trailer, the latter of which isn’t included in the sale, can haul 30 tons. If you’re looking for a special rig to haul a fifth wheel, the seller is looking for $42,000 to bring the 30,089-mile truck home from Middle River, Minnesota.

That’s it for this week, thank you for reading!

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Hamish48
Hamish48
3 months ago

The panel van is a total delight. I think it’s among my favourites from your Marketplace Madness series. Let’s see: $39K US is about $52K Canadian and San Rafael California to Toronto Ontario is about 2.6K miles – call it 4.2K kms. Oh oh.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
3 months ago

The irony of Edsel is that it was the product of an extensive market research project that completely misunderstood the market.They also researched in odd directions including asking the poet Marianne Moore for product names. Perhaps they should have used Moore’s “Utopian Turtle Top” name instead of a deceased Ford.

Masterbuilder
Masterbuilder
3 months ago

The T4 is intriguing. Nice price for a cool aircraft.

That said, it’s out of annual, and the TBO on the Viper 202 is 1800 hrs so you’re getting close there. Potential big money dump there.

It does have all the logs, though, so hmmmmm…

Jj
Jj
3 months ago

I think a major problem with Suzuki was a complete lack of dealers. I live in a major metropolitan area and I think the nearest Suzuki dealer was more than an hour away when they were selling the Kizashi.

I was interested in the car, but knew little of their reliability. If it turned out to have issues, I was not ok with that distance to the shop.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
3 months ago

I love that Edsel,it’s a shame they didn’t sell enough of them to stay in business.

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
3 months ago

Wow, that Kizashi has already sold despite the ad being up for only 8 hours. Not surprising though, those were brilliant cars that people just didn’t buy.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
3 months ago
Reply to  Marc Fuhrman

One of the guys I went through the academy with had the awd version. It wasn’t what I’d call quick with the cvt, but it was pretty fun when we went through the twisties up a canyon for a tour of a county jail.

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

Charles A. Chaplinski bought the truck

I’m not a fan of the truck but that’s a pretty good name.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
3 months ago

“Edsel Pacer” has to get an award for being one of the most unfortunately named cars of all time. I mean, Ford executives and marketing really thought they were pushing the “car of the future” with the Edsel line. Too bad they named one for what would be another unfortunate car… in the future.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
3 months ago

I want that Grand Prix!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

Ok, that Vignale is way too nice to outfit to compete in trials—but, can’t you just see some grinning manic piloting it i the mud as their berserk partner whomps up & down to provide traction?
That Ford Delivery is absolutely sweet, too, but the real star here is that ship. I would cruise my old beaters on that thing to the fanciest yacht clubs just for the trolling. And trawling, of course.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago

Once again proving I would have the weirdest, least valuable vehicle collection, were I to hit the lottery, I really want that landing craft. I’d love to take it to the Florida coast and periodically make landings just wherever I felt like. Probably with a horde of VW Things. Or other weird vehicles I have accumulated.

And since I would be rich, any fines I accrued would simply be the price I would pay to do whatever I wanted.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Right? I mean, it’s got welders & hoists and shit. Outfit it as as fabrication shop and build weird stuff to scare the populace with. Not to mention transporting Mini Mokes to your private island

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Take it out into international waters to make all of those questionable mods The Man doesn’t want you to make!

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